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Here’s why your cyber cupids are failing

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In the world we live in, technology is the new ‘Flash’. When everything can be speeded up with a swipe and click, why not the hunts for finding love? Thus, online dating websites. From Tinder to Cupid to Cifiyah to match.com; whether you wish to hire a serious matchmaker or seriously look for your perfect date with the help of seven kinds of searches – these websites promise to help you find your dream date. India has seen a rise in the number of dating websites with more and more youth registering to find some love in the virtual world which refused to meet them in the real one.

While the degree of seriousness of the individuals may vary, the dating websites claim to help users find their date with the machine-based algorithm called compatibility matching system. However, according to an article published in the Hindustan Times, new research states that online dating sites cannot help you find your perfect romantic match. In a study published in the Psychology Science journal, its lead author, Samantha Joel, professor at the University of Utah in the US says: “Attraction for a particular person may be difficult or impossible to predict before two people have actually met.”

It is not unknown to any of us, that our level of interest or attraction for a certain individual depends on a shared experience after the date; and cannot be accurately predicted beforehand. Nevertheless, the research was conducted on samples collected from two speed daters. These two daters filled out more than 100 personality traits, questionnaires and then went on a series of four-minute dates. Afterwards, they rated the interactions, noting level of interest and sexual attraction to each person they dated. The result in words of Joel: “We found we cannot anticipate how much individuals will uniquely desire each other in a speed-dating context with any meaningful level of accuracy.”

They found it was possible to predict the overall tendency for someone to like and to be liked by others – but not which two particular people were a match.

Further, Joel and her colleagues used a machine-learning algorithm to test whether it was possible to predict unique romantic desire based on participants’ questionnaire responses and before the individuals met. And the answer was a ‘no’.

It would have been great if the computer was once again our magic box. We could enter information and it would display our newly found future date! But alas, it cannot.

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